More comprehensive GROCERYchoice website to be relaunched in July

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 22nd December 2008

The oft-criticised GROCERYchoice website, which gives price comparison information from supermarkets, will be relaunched by consumer advocates Choice in July next year.

The new site will provide consumers with “far more up-to-date information on prices, a run down of weekly specials offered by supermarkets and a range of new features,” according to the consumer group.

An online survey asking the community what they want from GROCERYchoice is now on Choice online and interested parties from major and independent supermarket chains are also invited to join an industry consultative committee.

“CHOICE has always believed the GROCERYchoice website can deliver real benefit to consumers by changing how the information is collected, collated and communicated,” said CHOICE spokesman Christopher Zinn. “This includes keeping prices keener through consumers being more aware as to who is charging what and where.”

CHOICE hopes to deliver weekly pricing as opposed to the present monthly cycle and plans that some 4000 supermarkets will be included in the survey. Individual stores will be identified.

The new look GROCERYchoice will also review the prices ands details of between 2000-4000 individual products instead of the present 500 unnamed items presently bundled into baskets of goods. There will also be more baskets to include home brands, healthy options and weekly special deals.

“Interactivity will also be a key part of the site. We’ll be encouraging shoppers to share their experiences of both the bargains and rip offs they find,” said Mr Zinn. “And, as shopping tends to be a very local experience, users of GROCERYchoice will be able to find out much more about what’s happening in their own area.”

The Australian National Retailers Association has reported that they will work with the Government and CHOICE to help make the website more useful for consumers. “The existing website needs to be made relevant to consumers. At the moment it provides very general and out-of-date information,” ANRA CEO Margy Osmond suggested. “Consumers look for accurate, current information about prices in their town or suburb. The existing website doesn’t meet those needs.”

“ANRA members will work with the Government and Choice to see how the website can be improved,” Mrs Osmond added. “Obviously it is a huge and costly task to gather thousands of prices from thousands of supermarkets. Making so much information available before prices change would be challenging as prices for products like fruit and vegetables can change daily.”